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davidk 03-21-2002 04:52 AM

Safety Lines with Flags?!
Can anybody explain this one? My perspective is from Europe is it any different in the U.S.?

In fitting out a new boat we are following the latest ORC lists for safety equipment and standards. On the issue of safety lines (if you call them something different I mean the line between your harness and the jackstay or static clip-on point). The regulations (for racing) state that from 2001 all safety lines must incorporate a flag in the stitching such that if there is a force applied exceeding 200Kgf the stitching will ''fuse'' to rip open and let the flag fall out .... thus you know you are supposed to replace your line. I went round (I think all) the UK manufacturers at both Southampton and London boatshows this year and not one of them could supply such equipment. (In fact most of them hadn''t seen the not altogether new regulation!). Anyway we have bought new lines with no flags, but in the knowledge we could be found wanting if checked against official regulations ahead of a Class1 race. Whats going on in the U.S.?

Jeff_H 03-21-2002 07:26 AM

Safety Lines with Flags?!
I never heard of that either but it sounds like a good idea.


hamiam 03-21-2002 08:28 AM

Safety Lines with Flags?!
I just read something about this. I think it was in landfall navigation''s catalog. You might call them or visit

Good Luck


Valdare 03-21-2002 11:30 AM

Safety Lines with Flags?!
Go to the sailnet "ask the experts" and ask away. They should know.


hamiam 03-22-2002 02:54 AM

Safety Lines with Flags?!
From the Landfall Navigation Site: The ORC rule for tethers is found in their SPECIAL REGULATIONS, paragraph 5.02. The rule of the Stress indicator reads: "A safety line purchased in 1/2001 or later shall have a colored flag embedded in the stitching to indicate an overload. A line which has been overloaded shall be replaced as a matter of urgency..."

Thank you very much.

paulk 03-23-2002 04:05 AM

Safety Lines with Flags?!
Sounds like the "flag" they mean is simply an indicator, such as a fiber in the line that changes color if that stress is reached, not a flag such as might be worked into a lead line to mark fathoms. 200kgf (two hundred kilos of force?) sounds quite low for a threshold, however. I''m glad my safety lines were all purchsed in 2000, and are strong enough to hold better than half a ton. Does this rule mean that instead of erring on the side of caution, safety lines can now become weaker, to meet the bare minimum of 200kgf, since they have to be replaced then, as a "matter of urgency" anyway? Perhaps 200kgf is more than I think, but it doesn''t make complete sense to me. I''d rather have a harness I could have faith in, even AFTER I''d been tossed around a bit.

Sfilson 03-24-2002 01:49 PM

Safety Lines with Flags?!
We used safety belts on a square rigged ship I used to work for that had the tethers that were stitched to provide a "shock absorber" effect if you exceed an amount of force. The tether would break the stitching and lengthen, showing a warning message with an orange box around it. This message meant that the tethers "Shock absorber" feature had been used and the tether should not be used because the feature was no longer available. (Save your old tether. They work well if modified to keep tools from falling when working aloft.)

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